Bernardus Lodge and Spa, Carmel Valley Wedding - BrieAnn and Ryan

What a sweet wedding! I've had some really small intimate weddings this year and just love them (my own was only immediate family!). BrieAnn and Ryan chose Bernardus Lodge in the Carmel Valley for their wedding and I could see why as soon as I got there! It's set on one side of the valley so has views to the opposite side hills, has all sorts of gardens, vineyards and nooks and crannies to explore and it's lovely gorgeous, quiet and luxurious. What a pretty setting for a small wedding. Plus BrieAnn said they could do everything there! Rehearsal dinner, lodging, and wedding!

It was all about their closest family and friends and the food and wine. Given the lunch I had near the pool before I started shooting, the food is luxurious too! Wanda Straw did an amazing job keeping things flowing and Aga Kazmierczak put together the stunning flowers. I especially loved the "arch" over the bride and groom during the ceremony.

BrieAnn stunned in her simple Amy Kuschel gown and even though I had very limited time with the newlyweds for photos, we had fun and I couldn't go wrong with how sweet they were together AND the gorgeousness of the property.

Congratulations to BrieAnn and Ryan!

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Carmel Valley Wedding

Venue: Bernardus Lodge & Spa

Dress: Amy Kuschel, Little White Dress Denver

Coordinator: Stacey Clapp of Bernardus Lodge & Spa and Wanda Straw, Day-of-Planner

Event Designer & Florist: Aga Kazmierczak, Unskripted Design

Caterer: Bernardus Lodge & Spa

Hair & Makeup: Blush Studio

Music: Tim Marconett, Ivy Hill Entertainment

Beaulieu Garden Wedding | Julie and Russell

Julie and Russell chose the Beaulieu Garden property for their stunning wedding and it's one of my favorite wine country venues so I was thrilled to photograph it. Despite the large property, their wedding was a wedding for immediate family on a Thursday and although fancier than mine, it reminded me of my own wedding which was on a Tuesday in Yosemite Valley so it was especially fun to photograph!

Thank goodness their day was so incredible, because Julie and Russell had one of the craziest wedding week stories I had ever heard! Their rental car was broken into in SF TWO DAYS before the wedding and in the rental car were their wedding rings, their marriage license, their passports, all of the tuxedos, and the groom's suitcase which contained all of his clothes for their month-long honeymoon. Oh my! How do you recover from that one? Well, miraculously, the police found the car near an alley and they searched the people who were in the alley near the car and recovered the wedding rings and passports! Isn't that unbelievable?! Anyway, they were able to secure a last minute wedding license and then did a LOT of shopping to replace clothing in the couple of days after the wedding so with their wedding rings on their fingers they flew off safely. Whew. Now that's a story!

Despite all that happened before their wedding, their wedding day was incredible. Paula Le Duc Fine Catering is the exclusive caterer at Beaulieu and their service and food is always stunningly perfect. Valley Flora's flowers were a great addition to an already gorgeous venue and Aimee Wendel of 2chic Events made sure everything ran smoothly.

As for Julie and Russell, well, Julie was incredible in her Amsale gown and luxuriously flowing hair done by Sheerie Long and Russell smiled and laughed all day long never complaining about the near 100 degree heat. He just couldn't keep his eyes off his bride! His two darling boys too! This was a stunning but also intimate affair and pulled off perfectly. So happy for Julie and Russell!

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Healdsburg Country Gardens - Cara and Matt

Admittedly I was a little nervous about going to Healdsburg Country Gardens to shoot because it's under new ownership, but I was pleasantly surprised at the changes. Although I miss the gorgeous rose garden the previous owners had put in, I do love the new cocktail area the open space now provides. Still one of my favorite properties in wine country!

Cara and Matt were a lovely couple to work with. So in love and they had such a fun party! All about family and friends, wine and food. A perfect setting for a great couple! Flutter Events did such a nice job for them preparing and Alisha O'Connor was there the day of making sure everything ran perfectly.

The flowers by Daisy Rose were truly as if they were picked right out of the garden per Cara's wishes and the food by the always fabulous Girl and the Fig was amazing. Cara and Matt love hanging out in wine country and listening to country music so the bluegrass band One Button Suit was great fun both during the ceremony and during cocktails and dinner.

Just such a perfect and pretty wedding. Congratulations, Cara and Matt!

Bridal gown and boutique: La Soie Bridal in Sacramento, Dress by Enzoani
Shoes: Ceremony shoes: Stuart Weitzman. Reception Boots: Lucchese
Bridesmaid dresses: Donna Morgan
Formalwear: Combatant Gentleman
Hair piece: Bel Aire Bridal
Jewelry: Rings from Mark Allen Jewelers, Santa Rosa.
Day of Wedding Coordinator: Alisha O'Connor
Event Designer: Flutter Events
Florist: Daisy Rose, Sonona
Caterer: Girl and the Fig, Sonoma
Baker: Mustache Bakery, Healdsburg
Stationer: Susan Gildea Personalized Printing, Berkeley
Hair and Makeup: Powder Room, Santa Rosa
Music: Ceremony/Cocktail: One Button Suit. Dinner/Dancing: DJ Bart
Guest favors: Homemade Jalapeno Jelly by Joy Patterson (MOB)
Chalkboards: Nicki Wolfe. Calligraphy: The Calligraphy Girl
Rentals: Encore Events Rentals, Healdsburg

 

Olympia's Valley Estate Wedding - Roxy and Chris

Trees and Birds! When we planned Roxy and Chris' engagement session, they said they loved trees and the forest, so I was inspired to take them out to Stinson beach and the foot of Mount Tam where we were able to find lots of nature. I should not have been surprised when I arrived on their wedding day to find a bird and trees themed wedding. How lovely!

Lisa Bravo of Bravo Weddings and Events and the lovely ladies at Olympia's Valley Estate had their hands full, keeping track of all the lovely details and where they were to be placed. I'd never photographed at Olympia's Valley Estate and thought it was gorgeous. It's a big property so there was a lot involved in coordinating! Meredith Law did a spectacular job with all the floral details which included birds, nests, branches and birdcages! I always especially love when the wedding rings are nestled into a nest. The bride's mother also contributed by hand-making each guest "escort card" which were wooden rounds branded with each guest's name and Roxy and Chris' tree logo. They hung from big bunches of tree branches at the entrance to the barn.

But more than anything, this wedding was all about family, friends, love and fun! Lawn games were enjoyed during the cocktail hour and everyone had (an exhausting) blast during the Hora. I always love photographing Jewish weddings for all of the meaningful traditions. The signing of the traditional Jewish wedding contract called the Ketubah is always emotional, and the Ketubahs are always gorgeously designed and usually done by hand. I also love the circling of the bride and groom right before they start the traditional wedding ceremony in front of all the guests. 

Roxy and Chris had gigantic smiles on their faces most of the day and as they danced their last dance in homage to Prince ("Let's go Crazy") and throughout their send-off they were positively on fire! Congrats to Roxy and Chris! It looked like they had the time of their lives on their wedding day!

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Event Coordinator: Lisa Bravo

Venue: Olympia's Valley Estate

Caterer: Park Avenue

Floral Designer: Meredith Law

Dress: Le Caprice

Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Cake: Forget Me Not Cakes

Musicians: AMS Entertainment

Hair and Make-up Artist: Triple Twist

 

Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch Wedding - Megan and Oli!

It's rare that one of my favorite parts of the day is taking the getting ready photos. I like it, but I'm always thrilled to get to the venue to start photographing the big event! BUT, Megan and Oli got ready on a very special family property about thirty minutes from the Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch which is where the wedding and reception were to take place. When I drove onto this remote property up near Geyserville, I instantly fell and love and knew why it was such a special place! A family property shared by both architects AND stylists, it was simple and lovely and decked out for the wedding festivities! I especially loved the wedding night tent set up for the newlyweds on a remote part of the property.

Megan wore a BHLDN ready-to-wear dress for all the pre-shooting on this rural property and I loved being shown around to the couple's favorite spots for our photo session with California Oaks, vineyards and gorgeous views of both the Napa and Sonoma Valleys as backdrops! How lucky am I that I get glimpses into these special places!

Then off we went to the Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch and I was excited to start photographing the loveliness of THAT property and the combined creativity of our bride and her stylist Stepmom, Margaret Turnbull. All was seamlessly woven together by our fabulous wedding planners from ROQUE Events. Megan stunned all when she walked out in her Delphine Manivet Hyppolite gown and the flowers by Mae Flowers were especially fitting creating a feel of freshly picked wildflowers. I absolutely loved the guest favors of loose leaf organic tea in glass tubes. Megan and Oli had fun incorporating their combined heritages too. I loved all the Austrian touches representing our couple's home country and Oli's birth country.

Friends and family and a big party were the goal and they succeeded! The evening was warm and clear and the couple's bluegrass band was even made up of friends and all gathered when Megan and Oli shared their first s'more at the "campfire". What a stunning wedding and a stunning couple. I was honored to photograph this incredible day!

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Sebastiani and The Sonoma Mission Wedding - Nicole and Andrew

I will forever love photographing in the Barrel room at Sebastiani Winery in Sonoma! What a fabulous room! Add the tiny and incredibly sweet and old Sonoma Mission church in for the ceremony and you have a pretty great couple of wine country venues for a perfect wedding right in the middle of town!

Nicole and Andrew were a little shy about being photographed, but on their wedding day they stepped up and smiled and smiled for the photos and I was so glad because there were such pretty locations to work with! I absolutely loved photographing them at the Sonoma Mission right off of Sonoma Square and we had fun meeting the bridal party and family at the tiny vineyard on the Sebastiani property! 

That gorgeous barrel room was stunning with decor and planning by So Eventful and florals by Mae Flowers. The guests were treated to food by the very local The Girl and the Fig restaurant and catering and then everyone enjoyed transitioning to the tasting room for the photo booth and dancing. So happy I'm on the preferred vendor list at Sebastiani. I just love photographing weddings here!

Congrats to Nicole and Andrew!

Reception Venue: Sebastiani Winery

Ceremony Venue: Mission San Francisco Solano

Event Planner: So Eventful

Floral Designer: Mae Flowers

Caterer: The Girl and the Fig

Baker: Susie Cakes

Hair and Makeup Artists: Taylor Klevins & Krista Schafer 

Musicians: Simply the Best

DJ: AMS Entertainment

Linen Rental: La Tavola

Atwood Ranch Wedding - Cristin and Capp

Yeehaw! This was a fun one! Starting with the rehearsal dinner hoedown at the Swiss Hotel in downtown Sonoma and the wedding at the ever gorgeous Atwood Ranch. Cristin and Capp and their guests had a blast throughout the weekend and Atwood Ranch was as always stunning with design by Julie Atwood, florals by Marie Philbin Floral Design and a fabulous family style meal by Sage Catering.

There was threat of rain all day and then during the ceremony the clouds broke up and the sun burst through just as they were ready to seal their marriage with a kiss! Cocktails were on the patio and then after a big group shot with pompoms (Cristin was a cheerleader and Capp was a football player!), the barn doors opened to reveal the gorgeous barn lit by candles and lovely chandeliers. After dinner the party really got started and late night (after I left) apparently a huge group stayed on for acoustic music by the outdoor fire into the night. 

What a gorgeous wedding! Congrats Cristin and Capp!

Venue: Atwood Ranch

Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Swiss Hotel

Event Coordinator: Julie Atwood Events

Floral Designer: Marie Philbin Floral Design

Caterer: Sage Catering

Cake Designer: Scandia Bakery

Hair and Make-up Artist: Rebecca Butz

DJ: Boutique DJs and Entertainment

Linen Rental: La Tavola

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

 

Rancho Nicasio Wedding - Aria and Brian

Two Rancho Nicasio weddings in one year! Fun! The first one was a family wedding in May and the second was Aria and Brian's sweet and relaxed wedding just a few weeks ago. Love this location! The surrounding area is such a lovely representation of West Marin and the town of Nicasio is just such a sweet little town with it's tiny old volunteer fire department firehouse, church with steeple and baseball field (right in the middle!), there's not much to it, but it's such a fun experience for guests. Not many people make it out to this out of the way spot.

Aria and Brian lucked out with the weather which stayed warm through their outdoor garden dinner set with pretty and simple florals by Mill Valley Flowers and the Rancho Nicasio food is so yummy!  It was a lovely evening watching the sun set over the adjacent hills and ranch land and when people moved inside when it got cooler outside, the party really got rolling as DJ Jeremy rocked the house! I love traditional Jewish weddings and always have fun photographing the hora even though sometimes I come out of it with bruises! Such a festive and joyous dance!

Aria and Brian were so sweet together when we stole away from dinner for our sunset shoot and walked around taking portraits at all the lovely little spots around town. The beauty of this town is that it's so small, we could do it in ten minutes and get them back in time for toasts! I could see the happiness in Aria and Brian throughout the day and knew they had an incredible day! Congrats to Aria and Brian!

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Venue, Caterer, and Rentals: Rancho Nicasio

Floral Designer: Mill Valley Flowers

DJ: DJ Jeremy Productions

Cake: Branching Out Cakes

Hair and Make-up Artist: The Make-up Dolls

Stryker Sonoma Wedding - Heather and Shawn

Heather and Shawn wanted a fairytale wine country destination wedding and they got it! Stryker Sonoma is the perfect location for a destination wedding in wine country. Family and guests were mostly coming from Texas where Heather and Shawn reside and having the wedding all in one location certainly helps keep it easy for your guests! Also, if you want to wow your guests with wine country views a little off the beaten track, this is it! Coming from Texas in the middle of the summer, I'm sure the perfect 80-something degree weather was welcome too!

Heather is in the fashion industry and absolutely shined in her custom made David Peck gown. She had her designer also design and make dresses for the VIP ladies of the group. I loved the swooshing skirts and various shades of pink and purple. She also had her little dream team of stylists on hand to prep her with hair and makeup as well as to be on our little photo shoots to make sure she looked picture perfect. She was all hollywood glamour with that wavy blonde hair and when she came out in her stunning veil, I swear people gasped. Certainly her groom was awestruck and beaming from ear to ear.

The farm tables with family-style meal by Alex's Catering and florals by Garden Party added to that perfect warm summer evening wine country feel and guests danced into the night to live music by Larry Lynch & The Mob under the full moon and stars. This wedding will last in the memories of all involved. On top of it, Heather and Shawn both waited a long time to meet the perfect match and they celebrated in a once-in-a-lifetime way and seemed to have the time of their lives!

Congrats!

Venue: Stryker Sonoma Estate Winery

Event Coordinator: Christina Andrews

Caterer: Alex's Catering

Floral Designer: Garden Party

Cake: Supreme Sweets

Hair Stylist: David Bamford

Make-up Artist: Jahan Telfah

Band: Larry Lynch & the Mob

Bride and Bridesmaid dress designer: David Peck 

Longmeadow Ranch and San Francisco City Hall Wedding - Catherine and David

What a day this was! Catherine and David, both New York stage actors, went for the ultimate glamour of a San Francisco City Hall wedding and then everyone went up to Longmeadow Ranch in St. Helena for what was mentioned in a toast as the perfect "Midsummer Night's Dream". Both locations honored Catherine's upbringing in San Francisco and family vacations in wine country and all of their guests were treated to such a fun day!

Catherine was so stunning in her Rosa Clara gown from Lovely Bride in New York. The dress and Catherine transitioned seamlessly from city wedding to country reception by switching out the lovely veil to a wreath of flowers on her head. David was super handsome in his gorgeous blue suit and the flowers by Tango and Foxtrot were sweet and perfect for the long dining tables at Longmeadow. By the way, the food at Longmeadow is so terrific! I loved the BBQ meal cooked right in front of the guests in what then became the fire pit area after dark.

Stunning couple, stunning wedding. Congrats to Catherine and David!

Ceremony Venue: San Francisco City Hall

Reception Venue Caterer: Longmeadow Ranch

Wedding Coordinator: Shannon Leahy Events

Floral Designer: Tango and Foxtrot

Cake: Model Bakery

Bridal Gown: Rosa Clara

Bridal Boutique: Lovely Bride

Campovida, Hopland Wedding - Maria and Nate

What a festive traditional Mexican themed wedding at Camopvida in Hopland! I always love photographing at this stunning location because as the sign there says it's a "garden of gardens" and I LOVE gardens! It's truly magical and what made this wedding even more special is that the bride grew up on this property way back in the day when her family lived on site! What fun for the family to come back and celebrate the wedding of one of their own. It was fun to walk around during our photo sessions and listen to the bride say things like "we used to catch frogs over there!" and "we used to play hide and seek in the barn!". I feel so lucky they chose me to photograph this very special day!

Also, bringing in the tradition of a mariachi band marching in before the groom to start the ceremony and then leading everyone to the cocktail hour was truly wonderful. Although Maria did a lot of the work herself in the planning, Kelly & Company Wine Country Weddings did a great job of putting it all together and Park Avenue Catering provided such a festive buffet of summer BBQ!

Maria and Nate's first dance under the Mexican cuttouts fluttering in the fading evening light to a song from the band who they saw on their first date made this wedding day even more special and the fact that their 4 month old daughter Lulu was the little flower girl pulled into the ceremony in a Red Flyer wagon put everything over the top. Sheesh. This one was truly a loving and festive family affair! Congrats to Maria and Nate!

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Healdsburg Country Gardens - Olivia and Brian!

I feel so fortunate that I've been on the Healdsburg Country Gardens preferred vendor list for so many years. I've always felt it was the perfect wedding venue. Ceremony under the oak tree with views of the vineyards, dinner in the garden, dancing in the barn, a sunset photo shoot in the vineyard - it's the perfect setup!

Add in gorgeous wedding design by So Eventful and a gorgeous couple and viola! My job is easy! I loved Olivia's glamorous classic movie star look and red lips. Brian's reaction at their first look was so sweet. She made him gasp and cry! Very touching. Their family and guests were so important to them and their extended cocktail hour and lingering dinner gave them a chance to really visit with people. I'm sure it was a whirlwind for them, but in the eyes of someone who sees a lot of weddings, they really seemed to have time to enjoy themselves. I felt bad taking them away from the rocking dance party in the barn for their sunset shoot but once they were out there they seemed to enjoy this little break - until Olivia heard one of her fave dance songs and they were back in the dance party! Super sweet and fun wedding! Congrats Olivia and Brian!

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Venue: Healdsburg Country Gardens

Event Coordinator: So Eventful

The Grove and Union Hotel Occidental - Karena and Jason

Another cozy wedding! LOVED this reception location set in the Bocce ballroom at the historic Union Hotel in Occidental. Karena and Jason added a special touch by having youth in the Eden Area Regional Occupational Program  help them with their gorgeous florals and added some DIY aspects with the hand stamped wooden tags wrapped around the napkins at each place setting.

Because of their love for the outdoors, Karena and Jason set their ceremony in the redwoods at The Grove nearby. They decided to utilize the setting by also have the cocktail reception set in the redwoods immediately following the ceremony. After a big group photo on the pavilion stage everyone loaded up and went over to the cozy hotel for dinner. What a wonderfully relaxed family and friend focussed wedding. Congrats to Karena and Jason!

Ceremony Venue: The Grove

Reception Venue & Caterer: Union Hotel

Bouquets, Boutonnieres, and Corsages: Eden Area Regional Occupational Program

Cake and Cupcakes: Forget-Me-Not Cakes 

Rentals: Encore Event Rentals


Sonoma Wedding: The Depot Hotel and General Vallejo's Home - Margaux and Patrick!

Margaux was picture perfect in her Melissa Sweet gown and birdcage veil. Absolutely stunning look for this fairytale wedding at the CA state park location of General Vallejo's Home and the Depot Hotel in Sonoma. 

I loved that Margaux and her mom went with Emily of Green Snapdragon Floral to pick out flowers. Margaux's bouquet was stunning and the florals on the tables at the reception went perfectly with the lovely gray runners Patrick's grandmother made. I thought it was a great touch that the runners were gathered at the base with a floral.

This wedding was all about family and friends and as Patrick's father said in his toast: "BIG LOVE!" Wonderful time had by all!

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Ceremony Venue: General Vallejo's Home

Reception Venue and Caterer: Depot Hotel

Event Coordinator: Natalie Wiezel and Zohe Felici 

Floral Designer: Green Snapdragon Floral Design

Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

DJ: Dansations

Rentals: Grapevine Party Rentals

Sebastiani Sonoma Wedding - Amy and Michael

Lovely wedding, Lovely couple! I loved that Amy and Michael's love for music (they are both musicians!) flowed into their elegant Sebastiani Winery wedding so perfectly. They had live musician performing throughout the event and even took dancing lessons so that they could expertly swing dance to the music for their first dance!

Christopher of Leftwich Event Specialists made sure all of the elegant touches in this gorgeous setting were perfect including the lush flowers by Taste Catering and Event Planning both in the outdoor ceremony setting and in Sebastiani's spectacular barrel room. I love this barrel room and am fortunate enough to be on the preferred vendor list at Sebastiani and have seen it in so many gorgeous iterations depending on my client's style. Amy and Michael were the picture of happiness as then entered the room down the giant curving staircase surrounding the huge barrel at one end of the room. The railing was decked out in garland making it even more of a spectacular entrance. 

The traditional Jewish touches throughout the wedding also made it special and festive. Especially that EXTRA long Hora dance! I think the friendly band was torturing Amy and Michael and the lucky guys holding up the chairs just for some extra festive fun! 

Congrats to Amy and Michael!

Venue: Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery 

Wedding Coordinator: Leftwich Event Specialists

Event Designer, Floral Designer, Caterer, Cake Artist: Taste Catering and Event Planning

Wedding Dress and Veil: Amy Kuschel

Hair and Makeup Artist: Melisa Hall

Music: AMS Entertainment and D'Lilah Monroe and the Tom Cats

 

 

Best of 2013!

So excited to share my best of 2013 show! I can't believe how fortunate I am to photograph such happy couples and gorgeous locations. Reviewing this made me weepy. So many beautiful couples and emotional moments. I hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I do. A big thank you to all of the vendors and locations for giving me such gorgeousness to photograph and a super big congratulations to all of my 2013 clients. I hope you all have many happy years ahead! With love, Julie

NOTE: The embedded video below will play in low definition video, so it is best viewed in its current size. Please click here for high definition, full screen viewing.

Atwood Ranch Sonoma Wedding - Lindsay and Andy

Oh how dreamy! Lindsay and Andy's intimate wedding at Atwood Ranch in Sonoma was such a gorgeous affair. I just love Julie Atwood's incredible styling and Atwood Ranch is one of the absolute best in Napa and Sonoma valleys. Simply one of the most gorgeous wedding venues in wine country. Despite having fewer than thirty guests, Julie managed to make this large property a gorgeously intimate venue with her magical styling. The property was in all its fall glory and the barn was magically lit with hundreds of candles. Gott's Roadside served up burgers, fries and onion rings from it's food truck and Anne Appleman Flowers & Plants did such an amazing job with the rustic and stunning floral arrangements.

Oh and Lindsay and Andy! What a darling couple! Loved their style and their passion for each other. The day was filled with excitement, loads of love and lots of emotion. I especially loved the idea of the Bible guest book. Set with the backdrop of the chalkboard claiming "love is eternal", guests were asked to write an inspiring passage for Lindsay and Andy and sign it. What an incredible way to start your family Bible! I also loved that in lieu of a cake, the couple opted for a milk and cookie bar by Model Bakery. How adorable!

Congratulations, Lindsay and Andy!

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Vendors who participated in this wedding included:

Venue: Atwood Ranch

Event Coordination: Julie Atwood

Florist: Anne Appleman Flowers & Plants

Caterer: Gott's Roadside

Bakery: Model Bakery